Hello! New Guinea Pig owner!

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rosiea

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 4:35 pm


Hi! I just adopted my first guinea pig two days ago. He's between 3-6 months old. His name is Mr. Fast Feet (my 5 year old named him lol). I have read a *lot* of varying information on how they're supposed to act and how long it's supposed to take for them to become acclimated to their new environment.

Now, we adopted him from a pet store, so I'm sure he's only been on dry kibble. I've offered him fresh fruits and veggies, and he hasn't touched any of it, and I think he doesn't recognize it as food. He is eating the kibble, but hasn't touched his water! I'm afraid he's going to get dehydrated if he's not drinking or eating fresh veggies. He's still *very* skittish.

I also have a Boston Terrier, and I think his smell is keeping Fast Feet from coming out. My dog has been very good, he'll sit and stare at his cage, but hasn't shown any kind of aggression or "concern" about Fast Feet, so I'm not really worried. Every time I've had Fast Feet out, I've had Louie (the terrier) in another room. I plan on keeping them separated.

How long should I expect it to take for Fast Feet to become used to his new home, considering that there's dog smell *everywhere*? Should I be concerned about his lack of water? Thanks a lot!

Rosa

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PinkRufus
Contributor in 2014

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 4:55 pm


Welcome to Guinea Lynx!

It is normal for guinea pigs to hide and be skittish when they are new to their environment. However, there are some things that you should be on the look out for. Since pet stores often sell sick guinea pigs keep an eye out for these signs of illness:
http://www.guinealynx.info/emergency.html

Many times it takes a while for them to eat their veggies when they are not used to getting them. Keep trying different things to interest him. Are you sure he's not drinking when you are out of the room? Are you giving him hay?
Last edited by PinkRufus on Tue May 17, 2011 4:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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frillint

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 4:55 pm


The best thing you can do is to leave him be for like. 4 to 5 days. Just talk to him let him get used to your voice and your routine. He will most likely drink at night. After a few days then you should start to handle him. He will run they all do so don't take that as he don't like you. Just let him settle in without anyone bothering him.

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rosiea

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 5:09 pm


I have not given him hay yet. The pet store told us nothing about that, and I just recently found this site! I've seen that timothy hay is recommended...can I find that in a pet store, or should I order it online?
I'm pretty sure he's not drinking. I've been changing his water every few hours, and there's never been any gone. I'm using the same kind of water bottle that they used in the pet store, I think he's just scared to come out and drink, though he *has* come out to eat.
Here are some pictures of him, he's super cute!
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1921372847985.109775.1651988043&l=fe10625cf4

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moraff

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 5:11 pm


rosiea,

I recently just aquired my two piggies in the last month as well, so I've recently been on the Pet Store Rolelr Coaster Ride...

are you by any chance using the vitamin C drops in his water?

LilIriDai

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 5:20 pm


My first piggie (2 yrs. ago) was 5 weeks old when I adopted her. She would only eat her hay. She would only sniff at pellets, fresh fruit & veggies. I ended up picking some of my parsley and dried it on my food dehydrator. She went nuts for it! I tried oranges too. After a 3-4 weeks of this, she had developed a taste for it. I offered it fresh again... never had a problem after that! By then she learned that a hand usualy had a tasty treat attached to it;)..
We worked on her "skittish" side by never chasing her around the cage. We spent the first 2 weeks, just sitting, talking, feeding, drapping hands into cage. Letting her come out and investigate us.. As soon as we were able to move our hand around her & she didn't run for cover, we started picking her up.
We are now on piggie # 4. This has worked on all of them. Some take longer than others.. we have one now that is 4 months, she still gets spooked really easy.
Happy piggy days!

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rosiea

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 5:28 pm


No drops in his water, I read that they may not drink if you do that, due to the taste. I've been trying to give him "chews" and various Vit. C treats, but he hasn't touched anything yet, besides his kibble. =( I will definitely get some hay today, though.

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moraff

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 5:37 pm


Good deal on the drops by the way, I learned that the hard way when both Tesla and Ozzie stopped drinking water a week ago.

Defintely think the hay is a plus, maybe Orchard Grass if it's available. It's a softer grass hay usually, and my piggies tend to eat it more than the alfalfa and timothy hay we give them.

Also, try Green Peppers for vitamin C, and Cucumber is a great source of liquid for him. Also, you may want to try taking one baby carrot, and dicing it up really small, and putting it in his kibble bowel. I recommend doing this overnight as my piggies like to drink and eat a lot over night when they are under cover of darkness.

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Brady

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 5:50 pm


When you say "kibble," do you mean pellets?

http://www.guinealynx.info/pellets.html

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moraff

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 5:57 pm


Brady - I'm meaning Pellets / the food that rosiea is referring to as kibble.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 6:02 pm


See www.guinealynx.info/diet.html for information on the diet. They need hay ALL the time, and softer is not necessarily better for their teeth, although they may prefer to eat it.

The only pellets recommended on here for folks in the US are Kleenmama and Oxbow -- nothing with seeds, colored bits, etc. Nothing with dairy, they're lactose intolerant.

You probably can find good hay in Kansas -- you want horse quality hay, not cow quality. It will be much, much cheaper if you can find a local source. If not, order it from Kleenmama or Sweet Meadow -- even with shipping, it will be far cheaper than buying small packages in a pet store, and the quality will be much better.

Just for your information, this board, and Guinea Pig Cages, are both strongly pro-rescue and pro-adoption, and strongly anti-breeding and anti-pet store purchase. You didn't adopt your pig from a pet store, unless they gave it to you. If you paid for it, you bought it.

Pet store pigs are often ill, frequently missexed, and are bred and kept in atrocious conditions. Please do not support that industry by buying a guinea pig from a pet store -- there are thousands of guinea pigs in rescues and shelters that need good homes.

Welcome to Guinea Lynx. And we need pictures!

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frillint

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 6:09 pm


Cilantro is really good to but green pepper is the best for vitamin c and lower sugar than the other peppers. I order my hay online. Www.kmshayloft.com it is the best hay out there. He will drink in time. Just let him be for awhile.

User avatar
sus4rabbitsnpigs

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 6:13 pm


Fyi you bought him from a pet store .. you did not adopt as adopt is from a rescue, shelter, or private rehoming ad.

A vet check up would be a good idea for the reasons bppatters suggested.

Yes, you should get fresh grass hay asap for him. Oxbow is a good retail brand. If you have a feed store near you, you can probably find fresh hay too.

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rosiea

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 6:31 pm


We have a really good vet already, and I'm taking him in next week to see her. I wanted to let him get "settled" first. I had wanted to get a rescue, but couldn't find any locally. That's how we got Louie, from a rescue shelter. I read the ingredients in the pellets he's getting, and the only thing in them that's not recommended is corn. However, the first ingredient is timothy hay, and as I'm reading, I'm thinking he needs alfalfa because he's young. I'm pretty sure I can get fresh hay from a feed store that's near us, so I'll try that, first. Thanks, everybody, for all of your input!

User avatar
Amy0204
We miss our sweet Oreo

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 6:33 pm


Welcome to GL. You'll quickly learn a lot about how to care for your pig, if you read the Care Guide and follow the threads. The people, here, are wonderfully supportive but very anti-breeding. Pet stores buy their pigs from breeders and the pigs you get from a pet store are often sick when you get them. Keep an eye on yours since pigs can keep their symptoms hidden until things get bad. Then it can all go downhill very quickly. I am curious - I also adopted a pig from a pet store but the pig was never part of their inventory. What were the circumstances of your adoption? (In my case, somebody had abandoned a pig in the parking lot and the pet store had her off to the side. There was no charge to take her home with me).

I'd strongly recommend ordering hay from KleenMama's Hayloft. Linda (KM) is a GL-er and has wonderful, green timothy and bluegrass. A significant number of us order from her. The shipping expense will seem high, but if you compare the cost to use her product vs. what you might buy in a store, it really is a better value. More importantly, the pigs all love it. I'm sorry the pet store didn't clue you in. Guinea pigs need the fiber to wear down their teeth or they become overgrown, resulting in dental issues. Those can create motility/gut problems or result in inability to eat and can lead to all sorts of medical problems. Always allow your pig to have an unlimited amount of hay. Pellets, on the other hand, should be limited. Watch the veggies - too many of them can lead to loose stools. If you're concerned about water intake, you can rinse the veggies before serving them so that they're still wet.

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rosiea

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 7:07 pm


Well, I got him some fresh alfalfa and timothy hay from the local feed store, and now he's happily munching away! I'm definitely going to limit his pellets, maybe stop using them altogether, after what I've read here. I'm hoping having the hay will make him more comfortable! Thanks, again!

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PinkRufus
Contributor in 2014

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 7:17 pm


Alfalfa is good until he's six months old. It is too high in calcium for older guinea pigs. Timothy hay is great for any age. Glad to hear he's chowing down on his hay!

Fast Feet is very cute! You will learn how to give him a good life and keep him healthy with the info on this site. Many pet stores give poor care info. I wouldn't take out the pellets altogether though. They have nutrients that guinea pigs need. Some people who have pigs with health issues such as bladder stones take them out for that reason, but they need to supplement with vitamins to compensate. As long as your pig is healthy it is better to give the pellets, but be sure that they are a quality brand.

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rosiea

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 7:38 pm


Now he is exploring his cage! Yay!

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rosiea

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 9:12 pm


Oh my gosh! So, he's been exploring his new home for the past few hours, and I decided to go talk to him (as I've been doing regularly since we got him) to see how he would react since he wasn't holed up in his cubby...He started dancing! It was SO flippin' adorable!

rpaws

Post   » Tue May 17, 2011 9:19 pm


That is flippin' adorable. How did you get a piggie who will dance when you just talk to him?

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